Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 February 2011
Atomic Force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy was used to study Al/Si/Cu films sputter deposited at 2 and 45 mTorr. AFM and SEM analysis shows the films to consist of columnar structures commonly seen in PVD deposited thin films, while the TEM analysis showed the films be polycrystalline. Comparing the columnar structures seen in the AFM and SEM study to the grains found in the TEM study, we conclude that the columns consist of single grains. Thus for these films AFM or SEM analysis can be used to determine the grain size. Finally, an AFM scan of a Al/Si/Cu deposited via was performed. The AFM image clearly shows the high resolution of the AFM, while it also illustrates the problems caused by the finite size of the AFM tip.
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